Big Freedia at the Empty Bottle | Photos
Rarely has a music genre been more appropriately titled than bounce music. The rap sub-category generally credits MC T.Tucker and DJ Irv's 1991 hit "Where Dey At" with instigating the movement, and it wasn't much later that New Orleans-based Big Freedia entered the scene and never looked back.
Big Freedia (Freddie Ross, if you want to be formal about it) got her start as a backup dancer for drag queen Katey Red, going on to release her debut single "An Ha, Oh Yeah" in 1999. She became a regular on the New Orleans nightclub circuit—regular enough that when New Orleans club Caesar's reopened after Katrina, Big Freedia was the first musician on their lineup.
The rapper has said that her influences go way back to musicians from her childhood like Michael Jackson, Salt-n-Pepa and Patti LaBelle. But with or without those musicians' influence, Big Freedia is clearly one of a kind when it comes to paving her way in the music world: She honored her hometown with an appearance on HBO's musician-centered drama Treme, performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and has been featured in Rolling Stone and The New York Times.
Here's photos from this southerner's trip way up north to Chicago's Empty Bottle.